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Aristotle Detective (Aristotle #1)

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  482 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Athens 332 BC - a city uneasy under the sway of the Macedonian Alexander the Great, now fighting he King of Persia for control of the East. In this time of fresh ambition and furtive discontent, an eminent citizen is brutally murdered.

Young Philemon, an exile formerly guilty of manslaughter is accused of the bizarre homicide. IN his absence his cousin and nearest male rela
Paperback, 371 pages
Published May 2nd 2002 by Arrow Books Limited (first published 1978)
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Apr 24, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it
332 B.C. The young Athenian, Stephanos, is trying to clear his cousin, Philemon, of a murder accusation. Since Philemon has been exiled for manslaughter, Stephanos feels he wasn't even in Athens at the time of the murder. He consults Aristotle, who philosophically and logically tries to figure out the solution. For the most part, Stephanos does the running around and interviewing while the philosopher offers advice and deductions. A red clay pot, an heirloom from the victim's house, and a piece ...more
Sep 01, 2008 Carla rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-own, 2009
I've stumbled upon this book by chance, as when making an online purchase I was offered the second volume of this series. As I do not like to read series starting by the middle, namely in this genre as, though not always the older cases are needed to understand the background of characters, there are some mentions from time to time that help to understand more of the stories. It happened to me once, while reading Steven Saylor's A Murder on the Apian Way, and since then I always try to read a se ...more
Catherine Mayo
Jul 07, 2013 Catherine Mayo rated it it was amazing
Stephanos is a naïve young Athenian in a tight position. His father has recently died; his only surviving male relative, Philemon has fled into exile after killing a man in a fight; his property is encumbered by a debt he can’t repay; he has a house full of women to support and little to manage it with. When cousin Philemon is accused of a murder that Stephanos has stumbled upon by accident one morning, Stephanos must dodge the charge of collusion while assuming the role of defender, lining hims ...more
Nov 24, 2013 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
A particular crime novel, set in the streets of ancient Athens, during the expansion of Alexander the Great. While Stefanos, young and inexperienced, as the eldest son of his late father Nichiarco, tries to fulfill his duties with regard to the family, finds himself having to defend his cousin charged with the murder of the rich Buotades. Being in trouble, decide to seek help from his old teacher, Aristotle. So begins a race against time to prove the innocence of his cousin, but at the same time ...more
Sep 01, 2008 Donna rated it liked it
For the first half of this book, Aristotle is a detective in the same way as Nero Wolfe--detecting from his armchair. Later he goes out to seek some answers himself. Stephanos, his former student, is the active participant in the detecting. Lots of philosophical points made, if you can catch them; e.g., at one point Aristotle says, "If Philemon did not do it, someone in the class non-Philemon did it." That's Aristotle all right -- proving theorems and building hypotheses.
Brad Lyerla
Jun 05, 2015 Brad Lyerla rated it liked it
ARISTOTLE DETECTIVE is a fun, straightforward mystery novel set in Athens during the reign of Alexander of Macedonia. Margaret Doody appropriates Aristotle, arguably the second greatest of all philosophers, as her leading character in this detective series. In this, the inaugural story, he enables a former student to clear the name of his cousin who is falsely accused of murder.

The plot is fairly predictable, but yet good enough that I will read further in this series.
Rachel Burton
Nov 07, 2007 Rachel Burton rated it it was amazing
This was marvellous. I love detective stories and I especially love detective stories set in well researched history. As a Classicist by formal eduction I've been looking for something set in Ancient Athens for a while.

This ticks all boxes - and the best thing? It's the first of a series :)
Nov 11, 2012 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries-read, 2014
Having missed the vast majority of references and allusions, suitable appreciation of this book is precluded by my ignorance of ancient Greece. One could spend hours looking up terms and names, if only those for different kinds of pots, let alone what it would take to check the myriad of myths and legends. It speaks for the book that this ignorance is not an impediment to enjoyment. I should read it again with a classical encyclopedia at hand.
May 14, 2009 Kris rated it it was amazing
The first in a series set in Classical Athens where the philosopher Aristotle investigates mysteries with his young friend, Stephanos. Excellent historical research, engaging characters, interesting mysteries.
Apr 20, 2009 Hayes rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie's next!
Shelves: read-in-2010
3.5 Stars... fun and well written. The series looks promising. Will definitely continue.
Nov 18, 2010 Bettie☯ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Posting on to Carey then Clare
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Pressie from Hayes :O)
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Sep 09, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
Very witty novel, I look forward to reading the second!
Inês Cardoso
The writing style felt very different to me...It was completely different from what i'm used to reading! It took me at least 1 chapter to get used to it...maybe one or 2 more to get into the story (it felt a bit dull in the beginning). It does captivate by the time you get halfway through the book. Worth one read...but it's not a book I'll be keeping in my bookshelf
Jul 03, 2012 GONZA rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Libro consigliato dispiace parlarne male, diciamo però che forse non mi sorbirò gli altri della serie, che sembra parecchio consistente. Questo è comunque il primo, ambientato negli anni di Aristotele appunto, con Alessandro Magno che scorrazza per l'Asia Minore e Dario che è appena stato sconfitto.
Non sono assolutamente in grado di verificare che ci siano stati degli errori nel descrivere quella che poteva essere l'Atene di quegli anni, ma sembra comunque che tutto sommato, circa 2500 anni dop
Giallo storico di ottima qualità, con un'ambientazione curata e credibile, Atene ormai all'inizio della sua decadenza e il grande Alessandro impegnato nella conquista dell'Impero Persiano.
Aristotele nei panni di un detective probabilmente è una forzatura, ma è corretto riportare a lui tutti gli epigoni della logica deduttiva, da Sherlock Holmes in poi.
Nel romanzo della Doody lo stagirita rimane sempre dietro le quinte, più come Nero Wolfe che come Holmes, mentre il protagonista Stefanos è il f
I don't know where to start; maybe I should begin with all the historic inaccuracies which are mostly unimportant details in naval technology, but what really ticked me off was the notion that you could identify a personal handwriting from letters carved in clay approx. 2000 years before something like a personal handwriting even existed! Let alone that a rich household would have had an educated slave to handle the writing. But this is presented as a key piece of evidence in the end... Or maybe ...more
Sep 29, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Atenas, 332 A.C., uma cidade dominada por Alexandre o Grande. Uma cidade onde se acentuam as diferenças sociais e onde ocorre um brutal assassinato, cuja resolução é levada a cabo pelo jovem Estefano auxiliado pela mente brilhante de Aristóteles.

Uma história de intriga, política e sobrevivência social onde provar a inocência é um desafio não só interior como perante todos os que abafam todo o mistério, senhores cuja posição em Atenas pesa Ouro e que tudo fazem para esconder segredos que pensaram
Fco. Salvador
Narrada en primera persona desde la perspectiva de Estéfano, un joven ateniense, en el pasado alumno de Aristóteles.

El joven debe defender en el tribunal el honor de su primo que, estando exiliado, al parecer ha regresado a Atenas para asesinar a un vecino. Estéfano, que no tiene experiencia legal, pide ayuda a Aristóteles, que va conduciendo sus investigaciones para desenredar la trama. En este volumen el viejo filósofo aparece sólo en algunas escenas de esta historia desarrollada entre Atenas
Kristi Thompson
Mar 18, 2009 Kristi Thompson rated it liked it
Nice little historical mystery. Very well researched as to period, and the Aristotle portrait was plausible, if not quite as I'd imagine him. I've always rather liked Aristotle.

I also quite liked the narrator who played watson - not a major "character part" like Aristotle, but a nice young fellow. Good portrait of athenian home life.
Sep 02, 2014 John rated it liked it
Mystery set in ancient Athens with Aristotle supplying the logic and directions for his former student who is defending his cousin, charged with murder! Clever premise and interesting view of life in ancient times.
Ένα ευχάριστο αστυνομικό τοποθετημένο στην Αθήνα του 4ου αιώνα π.Χ. με σωστή αναπαράσταση εποχής και χωρλις ιστορικές στρεβλώσεις, με ωραία πλοκή και σασπένς. Ο Αριστοτέλης σε ρόλο Πουαρώ και ο νεαρός πρωταγωνιστής ένας ευχάριστος Χάστινγκς λύνουν μια υπόθεση που τα έχει όλα ή σχεδόν όλα.
Pretty good. The 'twist' at the end was not particularly unique but the story was well told and the historical aspects were woven into the narrative with a light hand.
The 'investigating' slowed the pace but retained my interest and the conclusion was swift and exciting.
Barbara Valotto
Jan 05, 2015 Barbara Valotto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4stelle e1/2 per questo romanzo giallo davvero ben scritto e dalla trama ben architettata e ricca di colpi di scena. Un ritmo non incalzante, ma comunque avvincente. Un bel libro e ringrazio chi me lo ha consigliato!! Thank you, "Mister Wolf"!
Carey Combe
May 09, 2011 Carey Combe rated it it was ok
Just wasn't the slightest bit interested in the characters, nothing about this story had me gripped. Guessed the murderer very quickly and just couldn't be bothered to read on to see how it was resolved.
J. Turner
Jun 17, 2014 J. Turner rated it really liked it
An Elegant little detective novel.
Feb 18, 2015 Miti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un giallo decisamente poco convenzionale.
Vale la pena.
Dec 16, 2014 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A perfectly enjoyable read. The classic world never pops to life, but the main character is engaging and there's lots of action.
Rhonda Hankins
goofy pretext, but it's readable and heck, why not let aristotle play detective and solve the crime.
Very entertaining story with fascinating characters
Claudia aka la viandante dei libri
La Filosofia calata nel quotidiano. Un grande libro che mi ha riavvicinato al passato. Da leggere tutto d'un fiato.
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Its OLD School – ...: Detectives of the ancient world 5 11 Oct 29, 2014 06:58AM  
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Aka Margaret Anne Doody

Margaret Anne Doody (born 1939) is a professor of literature at the University of Notre Dame, and helped found the PhD in Literature Program at Notre Dame ( She served as its director from 2001-2007. Joseph Buttigieg has since become director.

Although historical detective stories are now a flourishing genre, with Steven Saylor and Lindsey Davis be
More about Margaret Doody...

Other Books in the Series

Aristotle (10 books)
  • Aristotele e il giavellotto fatale
  • Aristotle and Poetic Justice
  • Aristotle and the Secrets of Life
  • Aristotele e l'anello di bronzo
  • Poison In Athens
  • Mysteries Of Eleusis
  • Aristotele e i delitti d'Egitto
  • Aristotele e la favola dei due corvi bianchi
  • Aristotele nel regno di Alessandro

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